Archive for the ‘Caregivers’ Category

Dear Caretakers: Thank You Isn’t Enough

One thing I think all cancer patients can agree on is that caretakers are the unsung heroes of a cancer diagnosis. You may be a spouse, family, or friends, but you all have something in common. Selflessness. You put us first and take on all the tasks we may be too sick to do ourselves. You feed us, take care of our kids, attend countless appointments, sleep in uncomfortable hospital chairs, and do your best to be strong when we …

Harvesting the Journey: Embrace, Empower, Endure

Embrace: to accept

As a pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner, I journey with patients and their families through the toughest of diagnoses, including disease-related pain and symptoms. I sit with them as they receive good and bad news, including conversations leading up to the last breath. As I reflect on the work I do, the word embrace takes on a much different meaning.

One of the favorite stories my husband Andy and I loved to share, was how we met. …

Creating Experiences to Last a Lifetime

Guest Blog By Sarah DeBord

 

On the night I was diagnosed, I came home and nursed my baby boy to sleep through uncontrollable tears. As is the case with most babies, he was obsessively in love with me and I with him. My only thought as I stared down at him was if I would live long enough for him to know how much I loved him. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would die before he and …

When Did that Even Happen?

By Diana Sloan

 

When we are fortunate enough to have our parents with us to a ripe old age, we often end up becoming their caretakers. We return the love and care they gave us when we were unable to care for ourselves. We expect and accept that this is the way of things. It may be hard on both parties to admit the roles have changed due to illness or frailty, but we do it. We take care …

Fighting the Fight: Through a Caretaker’s Eyes

By Kristina Smith

After my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, had a total colectomy, then being reopened, to allow his abdominal wound to heal from the inside out, body issues were a daily struggle for him. A confident, well-built man in his thirties, he now had an abdominal opening that began under his rib cage to below his belly button. There were also issues of having to use the bathroom seven to nine times a day, the

What They Didn’t Tell Me

By Kristina Smith

 

Going into becoming a model for the Colon Club, brought me great honor, as I would be one of the first to represent caregivers, after losing my husband to colon cancer, all too young. Although past models, now friends, had shared that this experience was life changing, that’s all they could really say. Questions ensued, presented in rapid fire like an intense interview, but still, the answers remained the same. A distant look off into the

Last Moments with My Best Friend

Belle and Maria

By Maria Williams

I lost my best friend a short time ago. As I sit here re-reading through the e-mail she sent me regarding her final wishes I find something I had either forgotten or suppressed. She asked, with great clarity, that I write about her final experience, her death. This is something Belle and I often spoke of in her final weeks. We discussed how there are detailed accounts, opinions and specifics about all other aspects of life: birth, …

The Last Blog

551511_10203433359575433_2672365393710571435_n

By Belle Piazza

Over the years on The Colon Club, I have read about knights in shining armor. Husbands whose wives they could not do without. Husbands who meet their every need, every moment of every day. And it angers me because I wasn’t lucky enough to have landed such perfection, but this isn’t a vent blog. One of my rules has always been a blog cannot be just a vent, it has to have a purpose, and I will …

Meet Ms. October | Staci Wills

Now although she does have striking resemblance to her, October’s model is not Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. It’s Staci Wills, a brave rectal cancer survivor from Canfield, OH. Read on to learn more about this funny, charming survivor we’re proud to call one of our own at The Colon Club.

The BASICS

Staci-wills-stage-3-rectal-cancerName: Staci Wills

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in July 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 32

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when

Musings on my patient/caregiver relationship

by Staci Wills

From the day I was diagnosed until the day I rang the closing bell on chemo, I tried my best to avoid hearing the statistics, small percentages, possible side effects associated with my cancer, but I also avoided other colorectal cancer patients.  That sounds harsh, but I didn’t want to hear what could, might, or would happen to me.  I didn’t want to hear what the statistics said about Stage III rectal cancer.  I didn’t want to …